2007-08-19 - Daniel
Chapter 8 ~ Installment 64 ~ Prophecy of Powers
It does seem of late that we have become repetitious, constantly referring to the truth, that God is in control. And this is true. But the way we are able to continue to walk on water, to not be overwhelmed by the waves, is to frequently remind ourselves of what a faithful, loving and al-polwerful God we serve. It is only as we remember Whom we serve, that we will be able to move mountains.
"He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you'" (Matthew 17:20).
And this isn't faith in faith, but faith in God who is the foundation of all that is miraculous.
Verses 1-8, 15-22: This next vision was received during the final days of the Babylonian empire. Belshazzar was still sitting on the throne. His fall was still in the future. This vision fills in some of the details of Nebuchadnezzar's one of the statue, and Daniel's recorded in the last chapter.
In the vision, Daniel is at the Shushan castle, the suite that was later "to become the seat, or at least the summer capital, of the Persian Empire." Leupold goes on to note; "When the vision appeared to Daniel, nothing concerning the future importance of this site was known, but since the fortunes of Persia were involved, the future center of Persian life and activity was the best background. 1
And so with the background speaking of Persia, suddenly there appears on the scene a two-horned ram who stood near to Daniel. This creature symbolizes the future Medo-Persian empire. Again we find a distinction between the two elements of this government, one being stronger that the other. As previously noted, the Persian aspect is the dominant.
But the Medo-Persian empire was soon overtaken by the one-horned goat. Verse 21 tells us that this is the king of Greece. Now we no longer need speculate as to the identity of the third power. We know, for sure, that it is Greece - and the one-horned goat speaks of Alexander himself. It is Greece that will overthrow the Medo-Persian Empire.
But Alexander would fall, and the authority of Greece would be taken over by his four generals, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus and Cassander. And so the large horn is broken off and replaced by four new horns, speaking of these generals. Remember, as we noted before, horns in Scripture speak of power in one form or another. Here the power is either political or military, or possibly both.
So, having moved into the eighth chapter of Daniel, we no longer need to speculate about the bulk of the interpretation of the visions and dreams examined. We find here the future history of three kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. In each case, the prophecy given was the prophecy fulfilled. This being the case, we can have complete confidence in that which is sill to come.
To be continued.
Comments or Questions?
1 H.C.Leupold, Exposition of Daniel, Baker Book House, 1969, pg. 330-331